Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
The History of squatting in the United Kingdom From Freestonia to Belgravia
Intro <ul><li>What is squatting?  </li></ul><ul><li>Squatting has become infamous in the UK given it’s history throughout ...
<ul><li>In the aftermath of the war, there was a mass squatting movement in the UK  </li></ul><ul><li>Squatting became mos...
The 20th century  <ul><li>After WWII, Britain was in dire straits </li></ul><ul><li>Due to German bombing and social uphea...
Political conflicts <ul><li>In the 1960s, the Communist party in Britain began to call out for a mass squatting movement t...
<ul><li>The Labour government began to implement the ‘council house’ strategy  </li></ul><ul><li>Although successful, this...
American influence  <ul><li>It has been reported by some that it was the ‘suburban ideal’, which drove British people out ...
Freestonia  <ul><li>A very famous squat  </li></ul><ul><li>The inhabitants of Freestonia even considered themselves as par...
<ul><li>Tension with those who were moved into high rises from dilapidated townhouses etc as the squatters moved in to tak...
21st Century  <ul><li>Attitudes have changed  </li></ul><ul><li>Some feel that the law doesnt protect them as well as it s...
<ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoNpoTvycFs </li></ul>
LAW in the uk today  <ul><li>In the UK:  Scotland - it is a criminal offence to squat - can be fined or imprisoned England...
<ul><li>current law conflict - homeless (crime consequences) vs private property rights  </li></ul><ul><li>20,000 current ...
evaluation <ul><li>Must remember the housing crisis  - You can not defer the problem of not having anywhere to live  STREE...
Questions <ul><li>When did squatting become most prevalent in Britain in the 20th century? </li></ul><ul><li>Generally spe...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Squatting

1,322 views

Published on

Published in: Education, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Squatting

  1. 1. The History of squatting in the United Kingdom From Freestonia to Belgravia
  2. 2. Intro <ul><li>What is squatting? </li></ul><ul><li>Squatting has become infamous in the UK given it’s history throughout the 20th Century </li></ul><ul><li>Main question to be asked: “Is it wrong to live in someone else’s house?” </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>In the aftermath of the war, there was a mass squatting movement in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Squatting became most prevalent in the 60s/70s and 80s across the UK, but most famously in London </li></ul><ul><li>Squatters were mainly bohemians and students, however they were generally middle-class and well educated </li></ul><ul><li>Famous British squatters include; Sid Vicious, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sade </li></ul>
  4. 4. The 20th century <ul><li>After WWII, Britain was in dire straits </li></ul><ul><li>Due to German bombing and social upheaval, there was a housing crisis in many of the major cities of the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Out of desperation, Britons took it upon themselves to find somewhere to live </li></ul><ul><li>This desperation was cemented further by cripplingly low rates of pay </li></ul><ul><li>Squatters that moved into abandoned premises (such as an old Italian POW prison in Bristol) were not very well liked by outsiders </li></ul><ul><li>Squatting went against the age-old British tradition of ‘patience’: the idea that one must always wait their turn </li></ul><ul><li>Aside from the animosity against squatting, within squatting communities there was a real sense of family and togetherness </li></ul>
  5. 5. Political conflicts <ul><li>In the 1960s, the Communist party in Britain began to call out for a mass squatting movement to occupy private property: a very important change in direction from previous squatting behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>In the past, squats were only set up in abandoned public property sites </li></ul><ul><li>Occupying private property was a significant raising of the stakes, and the Labour government were forced to react </li></ul><ul><li>A mass crackdown on the occupation of private property soon ensued </li></ul><ul><li>This crackdown amplified the internal conflict within this social movement: “ The right to a roof over your head vs One man’s house is his castle” </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The Labour government began to implement the ‘council house’ strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Although successful, this strategy resulted in a mass surplus of housing, exhibited clearly by the statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Per year, nearly 400-450 thousand new homes were being built in the 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>Compared to todays stats which show only 100-150 thousand new homes per year </li></ul><ul><li>Result - too many houses and not enough people to fill them </li></ul>
  7. 7. American influence <ul><li>It has been reported by some that it was the ‘suburban ideal’, which drove British people out of the cities and into the suburbs at this time </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘dream’ of big driveways, gardens etc swept the nation, and left places like Notting Hill (a very affluent area where the British PM lives today) mostly abandoned and disused </li></ul><ul><li>Notting Hill then became the site of many famous squats </li></ul>
  8. 8. Freestonia <ul><li>A very famous squat </li></ul><ul><li>The inhabitants of Freestonia even considered themselves as part of a separate state, and once applied to the UN for peace-keeping help to fight against the British Government </li></ul><ul><li>Members of the ‘State of Freestonia’ even had their own passports </li></ul><ul><li>Considered themselves as Anarchists but were not driven by Political beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>It was reported by some former squatters in Freestonia that it was an uncomfortable way of living as there was a constant threat of eviction and social stress, and it was even violent at times </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Tension with those who were moved into high rises from dilapidated townhouses etc as the squatters moved in to take what the evictees most wanted </li></ul><ul><li>St Agnes place - home to Rastafarian squatters too - famous visitors included Bob Marley </li></ul><ul><li>Considered a ‘spiritual centre’ </li></ul><ul><li>Remember *squatters paid for electrics, gas etc and most refurbished houses themselves </li></ul><ul><li>In 1970s the police were not as concerned with squatters as they are nowadays as property back then was not as valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Squatters were generally left to themselves until they were complained about </li></ul>
  10. 10. 21st Century <ul><li>Attitudes have changed </li></ul><ul><li>Some feel that the law doesnt protect them as well as it should </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. People going on holiday and coming back to squatters </li></ul><ul><li>It becomes a question of morality: Is it immoral to enter someones home in this way? </li></ul><ul><li>Some believe: should be illegal by principle, not what damage/ how often it happens </li></ul><ul><li>Hygiene concerns of course (sea of beer bottles) </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoNpoTvycFs </li></ul>
  12. 12. LAW in the uk today <ul><li>In the UK: Scotland - it is a criminal offence to squat - can be fined or imprisoned England and Wales - civil issue - police can’t be involved, must see a lawyer - people want to change the law though </li></ul><ul><li>Some believe that squatting is a sporadic problem and that there is no need to overly crackdown and change the law in England and Wales </li></ul><ul><li>Tension with the police as they do not fully understand the law </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>current law conflict - homeless (crime consequences) vs private property rights </li></ul><ul><li>20,000 current squatters and over 600.000 empty homes </li></ul><ul><li>Most reject the idea of Bill to change the law: Reasons - for example, environmental benefits that some squats have (ex. Heathrow) Squatters feel that the new Bill is not supported enough, and is essentially a means of increasing landowner profits Media always portray squatters in an unfavourable light </li></ul>
  14. 14. evaluation <ul><li>Must remember the housing crisis - You can not defer the problem of not having anywhere to live STREETS OR SQUAT - squatting now different as not as many abandoned council houses these days, squatting is more prevalent in private property </li></ul><ul><li>For example. The occupation of the Hetherington Building at Glasgow University </li></ul><ul><li>Must always remember: The benefits (community, safety, environment) vs the cons (private concerns) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Questions <ul><li>When did squatting become most prevalent in Britain in the 20th century? </li></ul><ul><li>Generally speaking, who were the most common squatters? </li></ul><ul><li>What British tradition did squatting go against? </li></ul><ul><li>What did the Communist party call out for in the 1960s? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the result of the Labour party’s ‘council house’ strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Sum up the ‘American Influence’ </li></ul><ul><li>What is the difference in the law on squatting between Scotland and England? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the benefits of squatting? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is squatting most different nowadays to squatting in the past? </li></ul>

×